US is ‘most satisfactory’ destination for Chinese travelers
The United States has been voted for the first time the most satisfactory destination for Chinese outbound tourists, followed by Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Italy, according to a report by the China Tourism Academy.
“With its urban image, local transportation, Chinesefriendly services and its visa application process everimproving, more Chinese tend to fly across the globe to spend their vacation,” said Dai Bin, head of the academy.
According to the report, Chinese travelers are more satisfied with the outbound destinations in 2015 compared with the same period last year.
While Singapore, Japan and South Korea are the top three most well-received short-distance destinations, the US, Australia and New Zealand are most popular among the long-distance category compared with Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.
Other popular destinations include Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, Britain, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, Brazil, Spain, South Africa and Argentina, said the report.
According to a survey by US-based travel information website Travelzoo, the US was also the top destination for in-depth tourism and family tours by Chinese, an increasingly popular form of travel welcomed by the Chinese, followed by Australia, Japan and France. The US has been steadily receiving positive feedback from Chinese travelers.
However, experts say being the most satisfactory destination for the first time has a lot to do with the China-US agreement on a reciprocal 10-year visa that allows multiple entries for tourists and businessmen and gives students of both countries fiveyear visas.
The easier visa application process will result in more Chinese heading to the US for vacations, despite the distance, said Vivian Hong, president of Travelzoo.
The US Department of Commerce estimates more than 7 million more Chinese tourists will arrive by 2021.
Travelzoo website said these visitors produce an annual revenue of $85 billion and creating 440,000 jobs in the country.
Since China and the US signed an agreement late last year to extend tourist and business visas from one year to 10 years, and student visas from one year to five years, there has been a growing popularity for the destination among Chinese tourists, and the US State Department has seen a 41 percent increase in Chinese applications for US visas as of May, according to Christopher Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, formerly the Corporation for Travel Promotion.
The US issued 351,650 business and tourist visas to Chinese citizens in December and January, a year-on-year increase of 68.2 percent.
“The 10-year visa is definitely a boost for popularity, especially for a vast and longdistance destination like the US, where Chinese tourists might want to explore its east coast, west coast and Hawaii on several trips,” said Zheng Chun at the Beijing bureau of Brand USA.
The number of Chinese visitors to the US is still growing at a two-digit speed, she said.
“Canada was No 1 in the number of visitors coming to national parks, but Chinese have taken that spot now,” said Zheng.
According to Brand USA, to welcome the upcoming centennial anniversary of the country’s national parks, it is filming a documentary that will be released next year.
Data from the Chinese Luxury Traveler 2015 report by Hurun Report and ILTM Asia show, some 65 percent of China’s outbound travelers are “supertravelers”, those high net worth individuals who have increased their travel period to some 20 days as well as the amount they spend.
The US, however, has been the supertravelers’ secondmost-popular destination for the past three years, it said.
Some 2.2 million Chinese travelers visited the United States last year and spent more than $23 billion, making China the second-biggest source of foreign- tourist spending within the US, according to the 2014 International Visitation to the United States Report released by the US National Travel and Tourism Office last month.
Nine out of 10 Chinese tourists in the US shopped in the country, spending an average of $10,800, it said.
“China has the largest outbound tourism market, and the Chinese have become the biggest spenders among global visitors,” said Dai.
Figures from the academy reveal that the number of Chinese outbound tourists reached 116 million last year, an increase of 17.8 percent over the previous year.
The academy said it is optimistic about the tourism economy in 2015, based on the performance of the first half of this year, predicting that China will see 135 million outbound journeys.